Ceiling Fans

The following description contains information about both ceiling fans and ceiling fan light kits.


A ceiling fan is a non-portable device that is suspended from a ceiling for circulating air via the rotation of fan blades. A ceiling fan light kit is designed to provide light from a ceiling fan and can either be attached to the ceiling fan prior to the time of retail sale or sold separately for subsequent attachment to the fan.


Building upon standards enacted by Maryland and considered by states, the Energy Policy Act of 2005 required that ceiling fan light kits (CFLKs) contain compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) in the package to fill all medium-base screw-in sockets (medium bases are those used on the most common light bulbs). For ceiling fan light kits with non medium-bases, the provision limited lighting power use to 190 Watts. Specifically, the requirement was that light kits not be capable of using more than 190 W, meaning that some type of shutoff must be employed to turn the lights off if more than 190 W are used. The provision also required that ceiling fans be controlled separately from lights, have more than one speed, and have a switch to reverse action of the fan blades (to match differing air circulation requirements for the heating and cooling seasons).  

In January 2016, the Department of Energy updated the standards for ceiling fan light kits. Beginning in January 2019, all CFLKs less than 120 lumens must have a minimum efficacy of 50 lumens per watt. All CFLKs equal to or greater than 120 lumens must meet the requirements of the following formula: 74.0 - 29.42 x 0.9983 lumens.

DOE is currently conducting a rulemaking to update the standards for ceiling fans and issued a proposed rule in January 2016.

The DOE website has information for manufacturers and consumers about qualifying products, including a Frequently Asked Questions document.

Standard Projected Savings

2017 DOE Final Rule


Federal Date State
Potential Effective Date of Updated Standard 2028
Updated DOE Standard Due 2025
2nd Federal Standard Effective 2020
Potential Effective Date of Updated Standard 2019
2nd Federal Standard Adopted (DOE) 2017
Test Procedure - Last Revised - Active Mode 2016
Updated DOE Standard Due 2016
2007 MD Standard Effective
1st Federal Standard Effective 2007
1st Federal Standard Adopted (Congress) 2005
EPACT Initial Federal Legislation Enacted 2005
2005 NY Standard Adopted
2004 MD Standard Adopted

States not showing an effective date have an ongoing rulemaking process to determine standards.

Timeline reflects state standards from 2001 to present; federal standards from inception to present.

Appliance Standards Awareness Project - 45 Bradfield Ave - Boston, MA 02131
info@standardsasap.org - Phone: 339.933.8140
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